Palm Beach reroutes to accommodate Steve Hirsch’s underground construction.
Guess what new luxury home amenity is now being upfitted at tech millionaire Steve Hirsch’s property in Palm Beach? Hint: It’s not a new a chef’s kitchen, French parquetry flooring, or even a deep-water dock. The future owners of the spec estate at 1540 S. Beach Boulevard will be able to enjoy the ultimate amenity—their own private tunnel to the Atlantic Ocean. To accommodate construction of the project, the city is now re-routing South Ocean Boulevard traffic and the tunnel is expected to be finished in October.
Private beach access tunnels
Because Ocean Boulevard is the island’s main north south artery and separates many seaside mansions from their beach parcels, homeowners there, buy, build or covet convenient underground walkways to the shore. Here are just a few of the more notable beach access tunnels built or being built by the owners of luxury mansions along South Ocean Boulevard.
- 910 S. Ocean Boulevard: Cury tunnel project breaks ground
Have a mind to build your own? Just ask Ed Cury, President of The Cury Group, how it’s done. In June his company was issued a permit with a valuation of $18.83 million for the single-family house construction part of his project which will also include a tunnel transversing South Ocean Boulevard and a cabana on the beach.
Lots 910 and 916 on South Ocean were bought, combined in 2016, then sold again in 2017 as 910 S. Ocean for $20 million. In 2019 plans for a new formal Beaux Arts-style home on the seaside estate, designed by Portuondo Perotti Architects, received rave reviews from the town’s Architectural Review Committee chairman, Bob Vila who was quoted as saying, “An academic exercise, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s an A-plus.”
- 1540 S. Ocean Boulevard: Steven Kirsch speculates on a tunnel amenity
Just down the road, another home/tunnel/cabana project that was approved by the town in 2016 has commenced construction. Currently, Palm Beach traffic is being rerouted for the construction of an underground beach access tunnel for a spec property on Billionaire’s Row. The double parcel is owned by 1540SOcean LLC, a company associated Steven Kirsch, inventor of the optical mouse and current CEO and co-founder of corporate communications firm Hirsch Leatherwood.
- 1100 S. Beach Boulevard: The most famous tunnel in town is at Mar-a-Lago
Mar-a-Lago—a resort, a national historical landmark, and a home of former President, Donald Trump—has a highly secured beach tunnel that links the main grounds to the property’s Beach Club. The Mar-a-Lago was conceived and built by Marjorie Merriweather Post, heir of Postum Cereal Company (Post Cereals) during the opulent years of the roaring twenties.
- 1930 S. Beach Boulevard: Tommy Hilfigar fancies a beach tunnel
When Fashion designer and Palm Beach properties investor, Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee added a $46.25 million British Colonial-style home to their real estate portfolio, one of its most inviting amenities was a tunnel to the beach.
- 1520 S. Beach Boulevard: Shumway Capital owner sought safe passage
In 2016, resident, Chris Shumway, Founder and Managing Partner of Shumway Capital, asked for and received rezoning and town council approval for a tunnel connecting his estate to his beach parcel to allow his children to cross South Ocean Boulevard more safely. The council cited safety as the reason for the 5-0 vote, given the heavy traffic in the area slightly south of Widener’s Curve.
- 680 S. Beach Boulevard: Equity office for business, beach tunnel for pleasure
After opening a new Palm Beach office for its New-York based Siris Capitol Group in 2021, Frank A Baker II, a founder and Managing Partner of the firm, purchased a renovated Mediterranean-style mansion for $32.13 million. The deal included deeded access to his new neighbor’s private tunnel to the beach.
Deeded access tunnels
While private Palm Beach properties with beach tunnels are highly desirable, another very hot listing amenity for realtors in South Florida, is deeded access.
When a property has “deeded access” to the beach, it is referring to an easement allowing access that is transferred by the property deed where the property owner has legal right of way across another property through a pathway or tunnel to the beach as stated in their deed.
Florida Bar Board Certified in Real Estate, Attorneys David E. Klein, Esq. and Guy Rabideau at Rabideauklein.com, have the expertise and experience you need to ensure that your interests are protected during your real estate business across the Palm Beaches and throughout Florida. Contact Rabideau Klein to discuss the legal implications of your next commercial or residential property transaction.